Day Eleven: "Mr. Garrity and the Graves"

Mr. Garrity and the Graves

What could be more terrifying
than a man gifted unbeknownst
with a knack for resurrection?
He came to the little 19th-century
Arizona town claiming he could
give them back the ones they loved,
and they believed him, and he
took their money and showed them
their hopes, so convincingly
that they realized the danger
of uncovering buried grievances,
breathing new life to vendettas
and hatreds. So for another price
he undid his fictive handiwork,
and left the town flush, victorious.
And this would be the ending
of any normal story, another grift
in an endless span of performances.
But Jared Garrity could not have
known that his threadbare magic
would have its claimed effect,
that the graves would open wide,
the town’s dead rising anew
at his call. The poor man could not
have told anyone what it meant
to be a con artist so masterful
that natural law itself is fooled.

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